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The Future of English in Asia: Perspectives on language and literature

1st Edition

Edited By Michael O'Sullivan, David Huddart, Carmen Lee

This collection is unique in bringing together key thinkers on language and literature to discuss the future of English in Asia. Many of the contributors are themselves responsible for important sub-genres in English linguistics and literary studies and this collection gives them the opportunity to respond to each other directly. The different chapters also respond to different contemporary debates and emerging trends and discourses that are hugely important for the future of English language teaching in schools across Asia.

This volume is also ground-breaking in bringing English literary studies and Applied English Linguistics together in the contemporary Asian context.

The Future of English in Asia includes studies on the following subject areas:

Cultural Translation in World Englishes, Multilingual Education, English Futures and the function of Literature, English Literary Studies in Japan, and English and Social Media in Asia. Well into this century, it appears that it is still very difficult to know what to expect when it comes to the future of English. The future of English will continue to be determined by complex local contexts. As it has in other parts of the world, the future of English in Asia will continue to rely on the proliferation of its transformations as much as its hegemonic status. This volume reflects the widespread acknowledgement that whatever future English has will inevitably be shaped by its fate in Asia.

The collection will be a welcome resource for scholars and students of English linguistics, English literary studies, and topics related to the teaching of English in Asia.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Future of English in Asia (Andy Kirkpatrick)

3. The World’s Other Languages: How Native-Speaker Linguistic Traditions Can Make a Difference to Minority Languages (Nicholas Ostler)

4. ‘We Must Make a People’: Cultural Translation in World Englishes (David Huddart)

5. The Most Misunderstood Title in the World? Recontextualizing Roy Harris’ Inaugural Lecture ‘The worst English in the world?’ (Adrian Pablé)

6. Beyond ‘Variety’ and ‘Community’: A Conceptual Challenge for the Study of English in Asia (Andrew Sewell)

7. Constructing Categories in a Multilingual Hong Kong School (Kara Fleming)

8. Participating in English in Social Media: The Case of Chinese Users of the Photo-sharing Site Flickr (Carmen Lee)

9. English Futures: the Function of Literature (Bill Ashcroft)

10. The Medium is the Massage: Writing, Reading and the Work of Singaporean Literature in the Age of Social Media (Eddie Tay)

11. Literature Minus the Local: Assessing the Viability of a Taught Postgraduate Program in Literary Studies in Contemporary Hong Kong (Stuart Christie)

12. ‘In Need of a Foreign Trademark’: English Literature in Mainland China (Graham Matthews)

13. In Dialogue: Contesting the Politics of Globalization in Hong Kong Literature in English (Michael Tsang)

14. Trilingual Education in Inner Mongolia—Signposts for the future of English in Asia? (Bob Adamson and Yi Yayuan)

15. Reppraising Anglophone Literature for Japanese Students in a Globalized Society: Developing a Resilient Life (Akiyoshi Suzuki)

16. Reconfiguring English Literary Studies in the Japanese Academy (Myles Chilton)

17. English Literature Education in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Japan: Student reception, utility, and its place in a moral education (Michael O’Sullivan)

18. Tiếng Anh: Learning English: From Inertia to Hegemony and Deliverance (Susan D’Aloia)


ISBN 9781138805071

Published October 15, 2015 by Routledge

302 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations



Michael O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

David Huddart is Associate Professor of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Carmen Lee is Associate Professor of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



“This book is successful in highlighting the struggles of people in Asia to accommodate to the tide of globalisation while maintaining their own cultural and linguistic values.” Nobuyuki Hino, Osaka University


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